In the next ten years, the research institute is supposed to carry on scientific research, to take a deep look at the biography and self-understanding of Franz and Franziska Jagerstatter, as well as to take their lives as a contribution to educational, academic and socio-political concepts of commemorative work. Other research areas include the investigation of the still unknown witnesses of resistance, peace work and the theological-ethical discussion of civil courage and conscience decisions.
Józef Niewiadomski, professor of dogmatic at the Department of Theology at Innsbruck University, delivered his speech under the title "Political Martyrdom. The life story of Franz and Franziska Jagerstatter in the context of current challenges of persecution and terror. The testimony of Franz and Franziska and its significance for the present.”. He perceives a lack of transcendence in our time. More and more people feel themselves as victims and therefore they cultivate intensified feelings of resentment and also of hatred towards others. In a culture dominated by envy, these negative sentiments can only be intensified but never changed. Against this background the lonely testimony of the refusal of Franz Jagerstatter is acknowledged as a substantial contribution to the dignity of conscience. Connected to his martyrdom, necessary culture of remembrance can help to detoxify the cultural situation when it is linked to the aspect of healing. In this connection, Niewiadomski points out the enormous contribution of Franziska Jagerstatter, the first credible witness of her husband's martyrdom, and advocates her beatification. As a consequence, he pleaded for a joint canonization of the couple, thereby the Church would recognize the value of a long-lived relationship to shape political life as a path of holiness in the Church.
Foundation Ceremony Research Institute Franz and Franziska Jagerstatter. F.l.t.r.: DDr.hc Erna Putz, Jagerstatter biographer; Univ.-Prof. Dr. Józef Niewiadomski, University of Innsbruck; Univ.-Prof. Dr. Franz Gruber, Rector KU Linz; Maria Dammer, Jagerstatter daughter; Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ewald Volgger OT, Vice Rector KU Linz
Photo © KU Linz/Eder